انتشار تجارت و رقابت : جوانب مثبت و منفی طرح های نسبی و مطلق
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Energy Policy, Volume 32, Issue 6, April 2004, Pages 737–745
Emissions trading is a hot issue. At national as well as supranational levels, proposals for introduction of emissions trading schemes have been made. This paper assesses alternative emissions trading schemes at domestic level: (1) schemes where the total level of emissions is fixed (absolute cap-and-trade), (2) schemes where the allowable level of emissions per firm is related to some firm-specific indicator (relative cap-and-trade), and (3) mixed schemes which combine elements of the above alternatives. We present a quantitative assessment of these alternatives for climate change policy in the Netherlands. It is concluded that while relative cap-and-trade would avoid negative effects on competitiveness, it would not reduce emissions at the lowest costs. Besides, the addition of a trade system to existing relative standards does not result in additional emission reduction; it should be combined with other policy measures, such as energy taxes, in order to realise further reduction. Absolute cap-and-trade leads to efficient emissions reduction, but, implemented at the national level, its overall macroeconomic costs may be significant. The mixed scheme has as drawback that it treats firms unequal, which leads to high administrative costs. We conclude that none of the trading schemes is an advisable instrument for domestic climate policy.
The European Commission has proposed a strategy to meet the targets on greenhouse gas emissions agreed upon in the Kyoto Protocol. One element is the implementation of a EU-wide greenhouse gas emissions-trading scheme (EC, 2001). According to the Commission, a European scheme should start in 2005.1 In the years up to 2008, the scheme would cover only carbon dioxide gases; afterwards, other greenhouse gases may be included. Several difficulties have to be solved before a European trading system is able to start. These difficulties include the initial distribution of permits and sector coverage. The Dutch government is in favour of a European emissions trading system, but it has also developed a national emissions trading scheme, to be introduced when the initiative of the European Commission would fail (Commission CO2-trade, 2002). The Social Economic Council (SER), a rather influential advisory body to the Dutch government, advises to implement a national system when a European system is not realised within eight years time (SER, 2002). The key issue in the debate on national emissions trading systems is their likely effects on competitiveness of industries operating on international markets. The Dutch Commission that studied the possibilities of national emissions trading, therefore, proposed to give internationally ‘exposed’ firms a special treatment (Commission CO2-trade, 2002). According to its proposal, sectors being exposed to international competition should be subject to relative caps, while other sectors, being sheltered from that type of competition, should be subject to an absolute ceiling on their aggregate emissions. The SER has noted, however, that a system treating different sectors differently would generate relatively high transaction costs. The SER suggests that in a national trading system all firms should be subject to relative caps instead of one aggregate absolute cap. This paper assesses the advantages and disadvantages of alternative national emissions trading schemes. Questions that will be answered are: • How large is the danger of adverse economic effects in case of an absolute ceiling of emission permits? • Is a relative cap-and-trade scheme able to realise significant environmental effects? • Could a mixed system combine positive elements from both absolute and relative cap-and-trade? The answers to these questions are based on a brief survey of theoretical literature on international trade and environmental policy and on a model analysis for the Netherlands. The structure of this paper is as follows. Section 2 discusses literature on the relation between environmental policy and international trade. Theoretical aspects of emissions trading under a relative cap-and-trade scheme are dealt with in Section 3. Section 4 assesses the effects of the three alternative emissions trading schemes in the Netherlands. The variants are (a) a relative cap-and-trade system combined with (higher) energy taxes, (b) an absolute cap-and-trade system, and (c) a mixed emissions-trading system with both absolute and relative caps. Section 5 concludes by systematically comparing the effects of the three alternative policy variants.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The picture of the pros and cons of the alternative emissions trading schemes is mixed. Each scheme has both advantages and risks. A ‘relative cap-and-trade’ system has a rather low environmental effectiveness when energy is already used in an efficient way, as is the case in the Netherlands. The main effect of adding emissions trade to existing efficiency covenants is decreasing compliance costs for firms participating in those covenants. Hence, a ‘relative cap-and-trade’ system needs the help of other instruments, like energy taxes, to realise additional emission reductions. Note, however, that the macroeconomic costs of raising current energy taxes in the Netherlands are rather high due to the current design of that system. An absolute cap-and-trade scheme is efficient but, when introduced in the national context, generates rather high macro-economic costs due to relocation effects. These effects will also appear in the context of the EU, although probably to a lesser extent. A mixed cap-and-trade scheme has the advantage of equalising marginal abatement costs across firms and sectors. But its major disadvantage is the (administrative) complexity of the system and hence the high transaction costs. We conclude therefore that it is not efficient to implement emissions trading in the national context. At a national level, an intelligent system of energy taxation is probably the most efficient policy instrument for reducing emissions. In addition, relative and mixed schemes are also inefficient in an international context, due to the modest environmental effects and high transaction costs. Attempts to introduce emission trading as a climate policy instrument should therefore be directed towards including as many countries as possible into the scheme. Only then adverse economic consequences of an absolute cap-and-trade scheme can be avoided, while the positive effects of such a scheme on reduction efficiency and environmental effectiveness can be realised.